San Diego

What's Cookin' at the 2017 San Diego County Fair

Each summer, the San Diego County Fair whips up flavorful new fare – often fried, and always unique

It’s about that time to tantalize those tastebuds: the menu at the 2017 San Diego County Fair will soon be rolled out, featuring the sweet and the salty, the fried and the flavorful and everything in between.

Each summer, vendors at the San Diego County Fair whip up a new batch of unique treats including strangely scrumptious concoctions from the mind of fair favorite, Chicken Charlie’s.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s cookin’ this year:

Krispy Kreme Chicken Ice Cream Sandwich: Fried chicken. Doughnuts. Ice cream. Together. Chicken Charlie’s has cracked the code on how to have your dinner and dessert at the same time.

Peanut Butter Meatballs: Once again, Chicken Charlie’s marries two foods that, in theory, don’t mesh, but in practice apparently do.

Fried Pineapple With Ice Cream: Another Chicken Charlie’s treat – fried, of course.

Beignets on a Stick: Because everything’s better on a stick.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Bacon-A-Fair is all about bacon, all the time. But with this treat, you can also eat your veggies.

Bacon-Wrapped Cactus: Another green-meets-bacon creation.

Maui Cowboy Burger: This dish from Grantburger keeps in line with the fair’s Wild Wild West Theme, combining an Angus beef patty with cheese, fried SPAM, marinated veggies, lettuce and spicy sauce.

Cowboy Pastrami: Another fair theme dish, this time from Grinders, featuring pastrami, barbeque pork, onions and cheese.

Sloppy Chicken: Also from Grinders, combining chicken, chili, onions and cheese.

Jalapeño Popper and Bacon Grilled Cheese: From the comfort food king, Grilled Cheese A-Fair, this treat is loaded with Applewood smoked bacon, crispy jalapeño cream cheese poppers, double cheddar cheese and chipotle aioli on grilled sourdough bread.

Deep-Fried Octopus: Found at Reno’s Fish and Chips, an alternative to the more traditional fried seafood dishes.

Smoked Brisket Nachos: These nachos – with hickory, alder and oak-smoked ingredients – hail from a new restaurant at the fair, Iron Skillet and Smoke.

Sarsaparilla Float: A sweet treat, also from Iron Skillet and Smoke

Wild Wild West Drinks: The fair’s hidden speakeasy, The Jade Peacock, will be pouring themed drinks for the 21+ crowd.

Nitro Pop Popcorn: Candy popcorn infused with nitrogen, available at the Candy Factory.

Into the Sunset: A craft beer brewed in partnership with Mike Hess Brewing, just for the fair. It’s a special blood orange IPA brewed with two-row, Vienna and wheat malts and a combination of centennial, citra, nugget and simcoe hops.

Rooty Tooty: The fair’s signature cocktail of 2017 blends sarsaparilla and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. It’s available for the 21+ crowd at the Painted Pony Saloon inside the theme exhibit or at the Into the Sunset Bar on the Main Avenue.

The San Diego County Fair runs from June 2 through July 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. It’s closed the first four Mondays and the first three Tuesdays of the season. The fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County, and one of the top 10 fairs in the U.S. and Canada, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors every year.

NBC 7 will be there on opening day, getting a closer look at this year's fried and flavorful fare. We'll share those photos with you next week!

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